News In Focus
Beveridge takes office as Society President
Former Government solicitor Bruce Beveridge has taken up office as President of the Law Society of Scotland.
At today's meeting of the Society's Council Mr Beveridge received his chain of office from outgoing President Austin Lafferty. He becomes the Society’s 50th President since it was formed in 1949. At the same time Alastair Morris, chief executive of Fife-based firm Pagan Osborne, took up the vice presidency.
Mr Beveridge's previous roles have included Legal Secretary to the Lord President, Deputy Keeper at Registers of Scotland, and Deputy Director, Rural Affairs.
After taking over the chair at Council Mr Beveridge told the meeting: "I am tremendously excited at the prospect of my year as President. There is no greater honour than to be asked by your peers to represent them."
Describing the agenda for the year as "hugely challenging", he added: "I am committed to maintaining and further strengthening dialogue with our membership and engagement with government and political parties, civic Scotland and the wider public on a number of important issues."
The year will see important issues of access to justice – an "absolute essential", Mr Beveridge said – the first licensed providers of legal services, and much of the run-up to the independence referendum, as to which the Society "has a particular role to play as a non-partisan facilitator".
The President said he did not promise to get everything right, "but one of my roles is to push things out, and let people tell me when I have got it wrong".
Concluding with a tribute to his predecessor, he said: "Austin Lafferty has done a tremendous job as President during the past 12 months and will continue to be a great support as immediate past president. Having begun his term by telling us he was a 'song and dance man', I think we have had a damn good cabaret!"